Valencia, Spain (PortSEurope) June 11, 2018 – The European Commission has assessed positively the decision of the Spanish government to allow the handling in Valencia port of the rescue ship ‘Aquarius’, which is currently on the high seas off the coasts of Malta and Italy with more than 600 migrants on board, after the refusal of the authorities of these countries to let the ship disembark in any of their harbours.
The European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has said through his Twitter account that the Spanish decision is an example of “real solidarity put into practice towards desperate and vulnerable people and also towards the other member states”.
Earlier on June 11, the EU urged the Italian and Maltese governments to coordinate and decide which is the port to which the rescue boat ‘Aquarius’, which has been detained since June 10 at a certain point located at 35 nautical miles from Italy and 27 from Malta by order of the Italian Coast Guard, with more than 100 children on board and several pregnant women.
“The first thing is the humanitarian issue, we are talking about human beings, including children, the priority of both authorities must be that these people receive the attention they need,” the chief spokesperson of the EU Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said.
However, “the Commission has no competence in the management of rescue operations and search at sea, or coordination of individual rescue operations,” said the community spokesperson for Migration, Natasha Bertaud, who explained that international legislation does not determine which country should be responsible for the handling of the ship.
Source: Europa Press
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